by Sarah Butcher About a day agoWhen you can't decide
If you’re an academic high achiever with aspirations to work for a world-leading firm of the sort that hires exceptional people, you’ve probably considered the tripartite of finance careers, consulting careers, or tech careers. If so, you’ve probably also weighed-up the top names in each sector – the Goldmans, the Bains, the Googles.
Your decision shouldn’t just be about the tasks involved, however. Before embarking upon a career, you also need to consider the culture. And the culture across tech, consulting and finance is very different.
Academics at Claremont Graduate University and the Questrom School of Business at Boston University in the U.S. have concocted a new way of quantifying cultural differences and working out where you fit. Titled ‘Career Culture,’ and defined as, “beliefs and practices that prescribe what is valued for career success in the organization”, they say you can use it to answer questions like, “‘‘How do I know if the people here are really ‘my kind’ of people?’’, ‘‘How can I tell if the firm’s values and expectations of employees, especially junior employees, are compatible with the way I want to be at work?’’, ‘‘How can I develop and thrive here?”
The academics split cultures into four categories: prestige cultures, apprenticeship cultures, protean cultures, and merit cultures. They suggest that working out where you want to work is as much about working out which of these cultures you want to work within as whether you want to do the job itself.
Do you fit with the ‘prestige culture’ at a Goldman Sachs or a Morgan Stanley?Investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have prestige cultures, say the researchers. They are very concerned with reputation and they hire people from elite institutions who will enhance their reputations. They’re big on status symbols and they have prominent office buildings in prestigious locations. They pride themselves on bring “career springboards” that will launch employees’ careers for the future (even if they don’t stay with the firm). Their emphasis is on “extrinsic values” – they hire the “very best people” and they offer tangible rewards like, “visible achievement, distinction, external recognition, and status.”
You’ll fit with a prestige culture if you agree with the following statements:
Do you fit with the ‘apprenticeship culture’ at Bain & Co.?If leading investment banks have a prestige culture, the academics say leading consulting firms – like Bain & Co, – have ‘apprenticeship cultures.’
Here, they say the emphasis is more upon “intrinsic values.” You’ll be valued and rewarded if you demonstrate behaviours that are, “self-directed and guided by personal values.”
You’ll fit with an apprenticeship culture if you agree with the following statements:
Do you fit with the ‘protean culture’ at Google?At Google and tech firms, the researchers suggest the culture is different again. Here, it’s all about autonomy. It’s about, ‘following your passion.’ You don’t have to follow a prescribed career path and you get a high degree of freedom. It’s not about conformity and assimilation, although you are expected to show “colleagueship and community.” Like apprenticeship cultures, protean cultures are for people who like intrinsic values: taking pride in your work, helping people, distinguishing yourself in your career.
A protean culture won’t work for you if you like a hierarchical and structured approach to your career. It will work for you if you agree with the following statements:
Do you fit with the ‘merit culture’ at blue chip corporates?And if none of the above sound like you? There’s always the ‘merit culture’ which the academics say is in evidence at big corporations like P&G and GE. Here, they say it’s all about proving yourself and advancing based upon effort and achievement. This might sound a bit like banking, but the academics argue it’s not the same. In a prestige culture, you’re hired based upon existing achievements (and are expected to perpetuate them), in a merit culture they say you’re expected to prove yourself on the job.
You’ll apparently fit with a merit culture if….
A bit of each?By this stage you (like us) might be thinking that this corporate culture thing is overdone. Google has big prestigious offices. Investment banks like to hire the best of the best, but they also like to pride themselves on being meritocracies, to pay for performance, to coach people and to instil corporate values. Surely, therefore, they’re a bit of each.
The academics have foreseen this criticism. “You probably won’t find pure types anywhere,” they admit – acknowledging that McKinsey & Co, is a little bit prestige and a little bit apprentice. Ultimately, they suggest you use their cultural groupings as a framework rather than a definitive categorization (‘there is value in pushing yourself to discern the primary type [that characterizes the organization you want to join].”)
For example, while banks might be a bit merit and a bit apprenticeship and a lot prestige, they’re not really very protean (or at least haven’t been historically). If you join a bank with the intention of following your career wherever your passion takes you, you might therefore be disappointed. Google, not so much.
From Seeking Alpha
Sep 22 2016, 13:00 ET | About: Accenture plc (ACN) | By: Jignesh Mehta, SA News Editor
Accenture ACN +2.1% has entered into an agreement to acquire Kurt Salmon to expand its capabilities in delivering end-to-end strategy consulting services to top retailers and private equity firms in a world disrupted by digital.
“With digital disruption forcing retailers to rethink their entire business and operating models, we expect continued strong demand for strategy consulting services in this industry,” said Mark Knickrehm, CEO Accenture Strategy.
BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Sep 14, 2016) - For the third consecutive year, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has earned the top spot in Consulting magazine's "Best Firms to Work For" survey. BCG is the only firm to appear on the list every year since the survey debuted in 2001 and has never been ranked outside the top five.
"There's simply no denying that BCG is the very best consulting firm to work for right now," said Joseph Kornik, Consulting's publisher and editor-in-chief. "That level of consistency is very difficult to achieve, but BCG has done it again. BCG leadership deserves plenty of credit for the firm's success."
BCG performed strongly across all six measures of employee satisfaction, ranking first in most (firm culture, firm leadership, compensation and benefits, and client engagement) and in the top five for the others (career development and work-life balance). It also scored highest on two key questions: "How interesting do you find your work to be on a typical assignment?" and "How often do you think your work has had a positive impact on clients?"
"Our highest priority -- one driven by our entire leadership team -- is making BCG the very best employer for top talent and the best place for professional growth," Tom Reichert, BCG's chairman of North America, told the magazine. "On a day-to-day basis, our culture, our collaborative apprenticeship model, and the satisfaction that comes from doing high-impact work are all core elements of our team's deep commitment and engagement."
Morale remains high, Reichert explained, because BCG continues to grow at a healthy double-digit rate, as it has for a number of years, offering an ever-expanding set of options and growth opportunities. "Our people appreciate the many opportunities to grow personally and professionally at an exceptionally fast rate -- to prepare for major leadership roles in BCG and beyond. And...they value our non-hierarchical and team-oriented culture and the ability to connect and grow with smart, talented colleagues."
Earning the top spot on Consulting's list follows other workplace honors for the firm this year. In March, BCG ranked number three on Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, which measures companies across all industries. Demonstrating remarkable consistency, BCG has ranked in the top five on Fortune's list for six straight years and is one of only two companies to make the top dozen every year since the firm began participating in 2006.
Consulting's 2016 ranking derives from an online survey conducted this past spring and summer. Over 10,000 consultants participated, representing more than 300 firms. About three-quarters of the respondents came from the United States. The complete findings appear in the magazine's September issue and on www.consultingmag.com.
A two-page feature on BCG, drawing on an in-depth interview with Reichert, appears here.
Consulting is published by ALM, a global leader in specialized industry news and information.
For information on job opportunities at BCG, please visit the Careers section of bcg.com.
To arrange an interview with a member of BCG's leadership team, please contact Alexandra Corriveau at +1 212 446 3261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 85 offices in 48 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.